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What is the Semantic Layer?

Learning Article
  • The Business Layer of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is a business understandable language for you to bring in add descriptions and information, written in natural language, to your data technical fields. Sometimes the data organizations accumulate is so complex that it starts to get written in a certain structure or even code. This, in turn, makes it difficult for people who are not working with this data daily to quickly grasp which information is stored in which column of a table without a data set.

    This is where the Business Layer comes in to help. As you structure your data and create data models within your data sets, you can add information either about the data itself or about the connection between data elements that you created within the model. This can be found in the Output Properties.

    The first thing you can do within the Output Properties is to indicate if your currently selected output is a Fact or a Dimension. Within the Fact type, you can also determine which of the columns of your output are measures.

    You can then do calculations based on your defined measures, like in the screenshot above. This will help make sure that your data is correctly structured in a business-like manner, so that your business users are able to easily understand the data and create analytical stories based on your data models.

    Click here to learn more about facts, measures and dimensions

    You can also add Semantic Types to your attributes that are not Measures. This allows you, for example, to tell the system that one of your columns contains a currency code or a weight measure unit. This can help your business users to identify data quickly, and also help them build stories faster by allowing them to recognize the correct dimensions quickly.


    After determining the facts, measures, and dimensions, you can also add business purpose information to describe it further. For example, you can not only add a description of your output but also indicate the responsible team and contact person, as well as adding tags to help you recognize the purpose of this data output later.

    SAP Data Warehouse Cloud enables your business and your teams to work on different aspects of your data sets to get the most value of the information you already have. And this is achieved with enough flexibility to allow non-technical users to participate and add value to the process by taking advantage of features like the Business Layer.